The countdown to the 2017 QPICC Carnival has begun. In preparation for their campaign to secure their QPICC titles the Kokomos u16 boys and Women’s teams played trial matches against QPICC newcomers, QLD Niue. The trial match was conducted in scorching heat at Bill Norris Oval in Beenleigh on Saturday, 30th September, 2017
The Women’s team had a mix of players returning from last year’s inaugural team and new players of varying experience. What our girls gave away in height and weight was certainly made up for in passion, heart and determination.
The opening try came from Esme Hiri who made a break from forty metres out. A neat step had the Niue girls beaten and Hiri looked to put the ball down under the post but unselfishly passed the ball to team mate, Shentia Chow, who scored the try.
Hiri kicked the two points to put the Kokomos in front 6-0.
The Niue girls made it clear that this was going to be a real contest by hitting back minutes later with a try by Sianequa Knight but missed the kick. At the end of the first quarter the PNG girls were in front 6-4.
A minute into the second half and Esme Hiri extended the Kokomos lead with an individual runaway try and successful conversion. This allowed the PNG to extend their lead to 12-4.
Sianequa Knight went over for her second try of the day just before half time adding another four points to their tally. The PNG girls went into the half time break with a four point lead over their Niue counterparts. The score PNG 12 – Niue 8.
The newcomers were keen to secure their first victory in the first game and came into the third quarter running hard and fast and looked to add another try to their tally when Niue’s Salaima Frost unfortunately dislocated her knee and was taken from the field.
The PNG women maintained their momentum and Emma Fuller scored out on the wing. Hiri’s kick was unsuccessful. PNG’s lead was now 16 to Niue’s 8.
Niue refused to concede defeat and doubled-down on their efforts. They consistently pressured the PNG defensive line and were rewarded for their efforts with at try but failed to convert. The score PNG 16 – Niue 12.
With success in their sights the Niue girls continued to probe the Kokomos defensive line looking for a gap. The crowd were on their feet cheering in the last stanza as the PNG girls, many whom were playing for the Kokomos for the first time, dug deep, pulled together and repelled the continued attack from Niue.
The PNG Kokomos Women’s team were rewarded for their incredible defensive efforts with a 16-12 win over Niue.
Their first outing for the 2017 looks very promising. It will be interesting to see how the Women’s team progresses over the next month as they work with Senior Coach, Ricky Pon.